More Chi­nese are ex­otic, scenic Bali-bound

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XU LIN in Bei­jing xulin@chi­

More Chi­nese are trav­el­ing to In­done­sia to en­joy the pic­turesque views of Bali is­land and the rich cul­tural her­itage and ex­otic scenery of other In­done­sian des­ti­na­tions.

Tourists from China num­bered 960,000 last year, the In­done­sian em­bassy in Bei­jing said. In­done­sia aims to at­tract 2 mil­lion Chi­nese ar­rivals this year.

“Bali is­land is the most popular In­done­sian des­ti­na­tion among Chi­nese trav­el­ers ... New­ly­weds love to have their hon­ey­moons there, and it’s a won­der­ful re­sort for fam­i­lies, es­pe­cially those with kids,” said Dai Yu, mar­ket­ing direc­tor of the tourism depart­ment at Ctrip, a ma­jor Chi­nese on­line travel agency.

Chi­nese tourists trail only those from Sin­ga­pore, Malaysia and Australia in sheer num­bers.

In­done­sia will soon waive visa re­quire­ments for vis­i­tors from 30 coun­tries, in­clud­ing China, Ja­pan and some Euro­pean coun­tries, to draw more over­seas tourists, the In­done­sian me­dia re­ported last month. Cur­rently, Chi­nese cit­i­zens must have a visa upon ar­rival.

Dai said Ctrip plans to de­velop itin­er­ar­ies com­bin­ing the is­land of Bali with nearby des­ti­na­tions, such as Yogyakarta or Lom­bok Is­land, to of­fer a col­or­ful tour ex­pe­ri­ence.

In Fe­bru­ary, Chi­nese tourists ranked first among over­seas vis­i­tors to Bali, with more than 92,200, The Bali Times re­ported. Last year, it had more than 586,000 ar­rivals from China, an in­crease of 51.3 per­cent over 2013.

Garuda In­done­sia air­line of­fers three non­stop flights be­tween Bei­jing and Bali and four each week be­tween Bei­jing and Jakarta, the cap­i­tal and largest city. There are daily flights from Guangzhou and Shang­hai to Jakarta.

Be­sides the is­land, other des­ti­na­tions, such as Ban­dung, are drawing more Chi­nese vis­i­tors. Ban­dung used to be a Dutch colony and was nick­named “the Paris of Java” due to its Euro­pean-style ar­chi­tec­ture and beau­ti­ful land­scapes.

“Many young In­done­sians from all over the coun­try come to study in Ban­dung be­cause it has many top uni­ver­si­ties, mak­ing it a cre­ative and vi­brant city,” said Asa Perkasa, gen­eral manager of Garuda air­line’s Bei­jing of­fice.

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